‘Freewater,’ a story of escaped enslaved folks, wins Newbery Medal


Amina Luqman-Dawson’s e book “Freewater” received the John Newbery Medal for Youngsters’s Literature on Monday. The award is taken into account the very best honor for a kids’s e book in the US.

Set within the early 1800s, the novel follows 12-year-old Homer, his sister and different members of a group of Black individuals who had escaped slavery to settle within the Nice Dismal Swamp. The village they create known as Freewater.

“I’m so terribly stunned and shocked,” Luqman-Dawson informed KidsPost after the announcement. “One of the best feeling is that hopefully ‘Freewater’ will give academics, mother and father and particularly youngsters a brand new manner of speaking about historical past, [about] the horrible hardship of slavery — and in addition the resistance to it, the power and love of Black folks again then.”

The e book grew out of the creator’s analysis into how real-life escapees had been in a position to survive on this harmful Southern swamp, Luqman-Dawson told KidsPost in an interview in February. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.

“Freewater” additionally obtained the Coretta Scott King Award, which honors books by Black authors that present “appreciation of African American tradition and common human values.”

The American Library Affiliation additionally selected runners-up, or Newbery Honor books: “Iveliz Explains It All,” by Andrea Beatriz Arango; “The Last Mapmaker,” by Christina Soontornvat; and “Maizy Chen’s Last Chance,” by Lisa Yee. Yee’s novel additionally received the Asian/Pacific American Award for Youngsters’s Literature. Soontornvat’s e book was featured in the 2022 KidsPost Summer Book Club.

The group awarded the Caldecott Medal for greatest photos in a e book to “Hot Dog,” which was written and illustrated by Doug Salati. It’s a few canine and his human companion who commerce their scorching metropolis for a refreshing day on the seashore.

Caldecott Honor awards went to “Ain’t Burned All the Bright,” illustrated by Jason Griffin, written by Jason Reynolds; “Berry Song,” illustrated and written by Michaela Goade; “Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Janelle Washington, written by Angela Pleasure; and “Knight Owl,” illustrated and written by Christopher Denise.

Washington, D.C.-based creator Reynolds additionally received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, which celebrates an creator whose books contribute drastically to teen literature. Reynolds’s “Stuntboy, in the Meantime” obtained the Odyssey Award for greatest audiobook.

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Ebook Medal for greatest nonfiction e book was awarded to “Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration,” by Elizabeth Partridge, illustrated by Lauren Tamaki.

Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice” obtained Coretta Scott King creator and illustrator honors and the award for excellence in nonfiction for teenagers. The graphic memoir was written by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile.

The American Library Affiliation introduced these and different awards Monday morning at its midwinter convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Discover extra concerning the youth literature winners at

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